6.3/10
181
9 user 2 critic

Yellow Jack (1938)

In the fever-stricken areas of Cuba a brave band of scientists, doctors and U. S. Marines fight a losing battle against the deadly plague of 'Yello Jack,' until the great heroic risk taken by an Irish sergeant brings victory.

Director:

George B. Seitz

Writers:

Edward Chodorov (screen play), Sidney Howard (from the play by) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

David and Lynn are a happily married couple. When David gets his dream job in another state, Lynn, a high-powered executive, doesn't want to leave NYC and her job.

Director: Richard Thorpe
Stars: Robert Montgomery, Virginia Bruce, Warren William
Biography | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The story of legendary Notre Dame football player and coach Knute Rockne.

Directors: Lloyd Bacon, William K. Howard
Stars: Pat O'Brien, Gale Page, Ronald Reagan
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A champagne tycoon's (Furneaux) partner (Ronet) suspects his partner's gigolo husband (Perkins) of murders he's been framed for.

Director: Claude Chabrol
Stars: Anthony Perkins, Maurice Ronet, Yvonne Furneaux
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A simple, small town man inherits a massive fortune, making him the target for scammers and publicity-seekers. Overwhelmed by the turn his life has taken, and awoken to another use for his new-found fortune, he makes a momentous decision.

Director: Frank Capra
Stars: Gary Cooper, Jean Arthur, George Bancroft
Hotel Reserve (1944)
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A hunt for a spy, in an hotel in the South of France just before World War Two.

Directors: Lance Comfort, Mutz Greenbaum, and 1 more credit »
Stars: James Mason, Lucie Mannheim, Raymond Lovell
The Big Night (1951)
Drama | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A teenager comes of age while seeking revenge on the man who beat up his father.

Director: Joseph Losey
Stars: John Drew Barrymore, Preston Foster, Joan Lorring
Murder, Inc. (1960)
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

The rise and fall of a 1930's Brooklyn crime syndicate, known as Murder Incorporated, led by mobster Lepke Buchalter.

Directors: Burt Balaban, Stuart Rosenberg
Stars: Stuart Whitman, May Britt, Henry Morgan
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Successful, newly married Brad Collins once belonged to the Communist Party of the USA, and now the Party will stop at nothing to use him.

Director: Robert Stevenson
Stars: Robert Ryan, Laraine Day, John Agar
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A man who spent his formative years in prison for murder is released, and struggles to adjust to the outside world and escape his lurid past. He gets involved with a cheap dancehall girl, ... See full summary »

Director: Felix E. Feist
Stars: Ruth Roman, Steve Cochran, Lurene Tuttle
Two Seconds (1932)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A condemned murderer, in the process of being executed, relives the events that led to his being sentenced to die in the electric chair.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy
Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Vivienne Osborne, Guy Kibbee
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A jewel thief suspected of being a local serial killer targeting police officers decides to solve the mystery himself to clear his name.

Directors: Edgar Selwyn, Richard Boleslawski
Stars: Robert Montgomery, Elizabeth Allan, Lewis Stone
Crime | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

While in a train halted at a station, Nikki Collins witnesses a murder committed in a nearby building. When she brings the police to the scene of the crime, they think she's crazy since ... See full summary »

Director: Charles David
Stars: Deanna Durbin, Ralph Bellamy, Edward Everett Horton
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Robert Montgomery ... John O'Hara
Virginia Bruce ... Frances Blake
Lewis Stone ... Major Reed
Andy Devine ... Charlie Spill
Henry Hull ... Dr. Jesse Lazear
Charles Coburn ... Dr. Finlay
Buddy Ebsen ... 'Jellybeans'
Henry O'Neill ... Gorgas
Janet Beecher ... Miss Macdade
William Henry ... Breen
Alan Curtis ... Brinkerhof
Sam Levene ... Busch
Stanley Ridges ... Dr. James Carroll
Phillip Terry ... Ferguson
Jonathan Hale ... Major General Leonard Wood
Edit

Storyline

In 1898 Cuba, U.S. troops who have survived the Spanish-American War are now dying by the hundreds from disease -- yellow fever, known as "yellow jack." Major Walter Reed, an Army physician, struggles to find the cause of the infection and to overcome governmental interference. When an answer seems at last possible, Reed decides that the only way to test the theory is to expose his own men to the disease. He cannot order men to undergo the test. Yet finding volunteers seems impossible. Without them, though, yellow jack will perhaps kill millions. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 May 1938 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cinco Heróis See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The play was based in part on Paul De Kruif's 1926 novel "Microbe Hunters," which had a chapter on Walter Reed's work on yellow fever. See more »

Goofs

While Breen and the other men are digging and talking about mosquitoes, his hair changes from being combed and uncombed between shots. See more »

Crazy Credits

Yellow Jack celebrates what these men did, rather than what they were. That their heroism however, should not go unrecorded, their true names are here given. (Followed by the names of the 5 volunteers for the yellow fever experiment.) See more »

Connections

Version of Celanese Theatre: Yellow Jack (1952) See more »

Soundtracks

Battle Hymn of the Republic
(1861) (uncredited)
Music by William Steffe (circa 1856)
Lyrics by Julia Ward Howe (1861)
Played during the foreword and often as background music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
The Walter Reed Story
10 October 2005 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Yellow Jack is a film that should be seen more often, if for no other reason than that people should know and appreciate who Walter Reed was and why the United States Army named its medical facility after him.

Sidney Howard had written a play about Reed and his efforts to find a cure for yellow fever, popularly called yellow jack. The original play brought in the British army efforts to do the same thing as well. All that was eliminated and we concentrate on Reed here. Just as well that movie audiences were not diverted from what was going on in Cuba.

Walter Reed was a member of the army medical corps who headed a team of doctors sent specifically to find a cure for yellow fever. Previous reviewers have noted what a scourge it was in the western hemisphere. During a hot summer, the mosquitoes who were the carriers, went as far north as our mid-Atlantic states.

Reed met a lot of resistance, but he was fortunate to have as the Governor General of Cuba after the Spanish American War, Leonard Wood. You see, Wood was a doctor and had joined the army medical corps himself. Wood is played in the film by Jonathan Hale.

Yellow Jack ran for 79 performances during 1934 and the part of the Irish sergeant was played by James Stewart on Broadway. In fact Stewart's performance was noticed by MGM which signed him and brought him to Hollywood. Why they didn't use him in the film, God only knows.

In his entire career in the cinema, I don't think Jimmy Stewart ever attempted any kind of accent, even when he was playing an ethnic or regional type. I'm sure he knew his limitations there.

Now I have heard far worse attempts at a brogue than Robert Montgomery's effort. It's passable enough and Montgomery is a skilled enough player to smooth over the rest. Montgomery is a sergeant in the medical corps and four of his men and he volunteer to be exposed to the Yellow Fever to prove a theory that certain mosquitoes spread the disease. The rest of the volunteers are Sam Levene, Alan Curtis, William Henry, and Buddy Ebsen. Sam Levene was the only member of the original Broadway cast to repeat his role on screen.

Lewis Stone, best known to movie audiences as Judge Hardy, is a stern and dedicated Walter Reed. Like so many scientists Reed met with a lot of ridicule from the medical profession. There always is ridicule until the experts are proved wrong.

If there is a flaw in the film it's Virginia Bruce. Her romance with Montgomery doesn't really advance the plot and she looks out of place, fresh as a daisy for someone working in the tropics.

I'd have liked to have seen more of Charles Coburn as the doctor who Reed based his ideas on and less of Ms. Bruce.

Still and all Yellow Jack is an entertaining and informative film about some very courageous people.


14 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 9 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed